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Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) services offered in Phoenix, Prescott, Gilbert, Sun City, & Yuma, AZ

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects more than eight million people in the United States. PAD reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood through the extremities and increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. At the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center in Phoenix, Peoria (Sun City), Gilbert, Prescott, and Yuma, Arizona, the cardiovascular specialists diagnose and treat PAD. Call the nearest office today or book an appointment online to learn more about PAD and its treatments.

What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?

PAD is narrowing or blockages in the peripheral arteries caused by a buildup of plaque (cholesterol and minerals) along the blood vessel walls ― this is called atherosclerosis. PAD affects the flow of oxygen-rich blood through these arteries to your extremities.

If you use tobacco or have a history of tobacco use, you’re at greater risk of developing PAD. Having a family history of PAD or a personal history of diabetes or high cholesterol also puts you at greater risk.

Though PAD can affect the arms, it’s most often seen in the legs. 

What are the symptoms of PAD?

You can have PAD and not know it. The most common PAD symptom is pain in your legs when you walk or climb stairs, and this pain, called claudication, goes away when you stop.

Other symptoms of PAD include:

  • Achiness or heaviness in the legs
  • Poor toenail or leg hair growth
  • One foot feels colder than the other
  • Skin discoloration
  • Sores on the legs or feet that won’t heal

If you have severe PAD, you can experience leg pain even when at rest. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is also a symptom of PAD.

What happens during a PAD evaluation?

When you visit the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center for a PAD evaluation, you can expect a thorough, patient-focused exam. Your cardiovascular specialist reviews your symptoms, medical history, and family history.

They complete a physical exam and can run tests to confirm or rule out PAD. Testing can include:

Ankle-brachial index (ABI)

For an ABI, your provider measures blood pressure in your arms and ankles and compares the number. An ABI test result of less than 1.0 can mean you have PAD.

Vascular ultrasound

During a vascular ultrasound, your provider uses ultrasound imaging to see blood flow through the arteries in your legs.

How is PAD treated?

The Arizona Heart Rhythm Center specialists customize your PAD treatment based on how severe your condition is. Initially, they recommend lifestyle changes like eating a heart-healthy diet, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly.

The specialists also provide recommendations for managing underlying health problems that contribute to your PAD, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension).

If you have severe blockages in your arteries, the cardiovascular specialists can perform minimally invasive procedures ― balloon angioplasty and stenting ― to open the artery and improve blood flow.

To find out more about PAD, Call the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about PAD and its treatments.

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